Premium travel is becoming at once more luxurious and more complicated. Billion-dollar aircraft upgrades, luxurious new in-air services and elaborate new exclusive lounges have made business and first class rates climb. At the same time, airlines are constantly revamping and tightening their loyalty programs and upgrade systems, forcing business class ticket prices and first class fares to escalate even more.
To find the best last minute deals and avoid these booming costs, travelers often have to navigate a nerve-wracking labyrinthine network of airline points, mileage upgrades, loyalty clubs and alert systems. Simplifying this process and maximizing travel dollars is what I Fly First Class does best, so it's offering consumers a few tips and solutions for finding the very best last minute travel prices on business class seats and first class fares.
Recent changes in Delta's elite traveler upgrade policy caused a stir among corporate and high-end leisure travelers, denying them the complimentary business and first class seat upgrades they had come to expect. "Delta's change reminds us all that airline loyalty programs can and do change all the time, so it doesn't always pay to put all your travel eggs in one basket," says I Fly First Class Public Relations Director Julia Stiles. "Companies with big annual travel spends are better served by shopping for the best fares flight-to-flight using a discount premium travel service like I Fly First Class. Or, they might want to try to leverage their existing elite loyalty status with other airlines through status matching programs."
For small businesses and leisure travelers, the complications seem even more exaggerated. Without a corporate travel department or a personal travel agent, finding the best last minute business class airfare deals or the cheapest first class flights seems even more daunting. For those situations, I Fly First Class recommends that consumers check out the savings and point accumulation perks of travel credit cards. When properly researched, cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture and Barclaycard Arrival Plus products can help consumers accumulate points that can be easily transferred to an airline or hotel when they're needed.
Timing is especially problematic for travelers who are searching for last minute seats on business or first class flights. Studies show that booking a flight about 52 days prior to departure provides the best value, but last minute travelers don't have that flexibility. In these cases, consumers have three choices: pay the high rack rates, search through dozens of online resources for the best rate or count on a premium travel service that specializes in last minute first class and business class tickets.
If consumers are set on booking last minute flights themselves, I Fly First Class has a few extra tips to help them find the best first class deals and cheapest last minute business class fares. First, travelers should book their airfare during weekdays, preferably on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Airlines file fares to reservation systems four times a day during the week, but only once on weekend days. Most airlines' special sales usually launch on Monday evenings, making Tuesday morning the best time to search for a last minute business class deal. Second, travelers should consider non-direct flights. Recent surveys show that adding one stop to a flight can save passengers as much as 50 percent, particularly on last minute flights. And, as I Fly First Class always recommends, consumers should look at routes at alternate airports near the departure/destination.
Making the most of a travel budget takes single-minded determination, research and know-how. Consumers can find additional help with last minute first class deals and business class fares at IFlyFirstClass.com.